Get Creative When Marketing Your Online Business
The business and marketing world are evolving at a rapid rate every day, and it can get a little overwhelming. Don’t worry; there are always ways to keep things fresh and push your marketing strategy forward, or even give it a complete overhaul. With an online company, every area and outlet of your brand have the potential to drive traffic and sales exactly where you want it to. Staying relevant to your target demographic and remaining true to your core values will be the backbone to developing a successful business. Whether you implement changes yourself, bring in the experts, or a mixture of the two, once you get the creative ball rolling, you’ll be coming up with great ideas, unique to your brand.
Image from Kaboompics
Social Media Isn’t Leaving Anytime Soon
It seems so obvious, right? You’ve got all your social media accounts set up, your Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram handle are as close to the name of your business as possible, and your profile pictures are in place, using your current branding. Well, what now? It’s time to engage, efficiently and most importantly, consistently. Social media comes first as it’s the umbrella marketing strategy for all the ideas and advice that will follow. Whichever creative approach you take and schemes you implement, you will advertise and push them through each of your social media platforms. See how social media boosts businesses here.
There are also things you can create that are specifically tailored to each channel. For example, you’re unlikely to write out a 500-word blog post on Twitter, that would take way too long and bore your followers. However, Twitter would be an excellent place to post the link to the blog, with a witty one-liner. Be savvy about what each platform is used for and why your audience visits them. This will help you pick applicable content for each handle.
The bio section in each platform is another chance to grab a little attention. Be bright and witty, make the reader smile, so they push that necessary follow button. Take part in hashtag trends; it’s an easy way to make contact with a wider community of potential customers. Better still, come up with your own, so you’ll be generating traffic that links straight back to you. If your company has a Pinterest page, come up with ingenious names for your boards that are an obvious nod to your brand. Predictability is boring, mix it up and reference what’s happening in the media or celebrity world. This will ensure your audience sees that you’re a switched-on company, making them more likely to engage with you. You’ll build up a core community of followers who will help set the tone of your online presence.
Your social media handles are usually the quickest way to find you nowadays, so make sure they can be found easily. Put them clearly on any business cards or printed marketing; they should be easily found on your website and think outside the box to get them noticed. Maybe you’re doing a presentation at a networking event or conference; there’s nothing wrong with popping your Twitter handle in a corner, so that it can be seen on the screen throughout.
Image found here
Don’t forget to check out your competitors and other successful business’ are doing. If a particular Facebook campaign or Twitter hashtag brought a lot of attention to a brand, it’s worth taking a look at (check out some of the most successful hashtag campaigns). Don’t copy anyone, but learn from them and put your own, unique twist on it. Whatever you’re putting out there, ensure how you say it links strongly to your brand identity.
Grab Some Attention With Plenty of CTAs
Contests, questions and special offers are straightforward ways to get customers engaged and provide you with the bonus of user-generated content. To state the obvious, your social media accounts should be the first place you head when promoting these CTAs, and the aim is to get your following to become your brand ambassadors.
Photo and caption contests are easy for people to get involved in, nobody likes complicated hoops to jump through when it comes to winning a small prize. Link the contest with your business; maybe you sell pet accessories, so asking people to post a photo of their pet wearing their favorite outfit would be more than appropriate. Make sure the picture you ask for are what the audience will enjoy looking at (pets are always a winner). It takes somebody even less effort to caption a photo that you have provided, making a weekly caption contest a quick way to generate a regular boost in traffic. Always link back to your brand and offer a prize that you can find on your website, this will again, increase influx to your business.
Image via kaboompics.com
If you’d prefer not to be giving out prizes, then simply don’t. You can induce action by asking questions, Twitter and Facebook are the perfect platforms for this. Asking questions about specific products you sell, with a related picture and link, makes it smoother for the customer to pop in a one-word answer before traveling to your site to have a look at the products. For example ‘which color of mug is your favorite, green or blue?’ (accompanied by a relevant image and link) will provoke a fast response answer.
Setting up quick offers and exclusive deals on your website will be effective at grabbing some attention, everyone loves a bargain. Making it clear that there is a limited time for the buyer to enjoy the discount will give them that little nudge to consider it more seriously. Directly related the deal to something topical is how what’s happening in the press work for you and adds an entertaining element. For example, ‘Half price footballs until The Super Bowl!’ allows you to use appropriate hashtags which are already trending and would slot in nicely with what your online store had to offer. Again, it’s no shock that it’s your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and whatever other online podium you’re stood on, that are the best places to make some noise about these markdowns.
Once the customer has reached your website, it needs to be evident where these CTAs are, without looking like an over-cluttered bargain basement (unless that’s what your store is, in which case keep doing what you’re doing). Tying sales and special offers in with your overall website aesthetic can be tricky, so it’s important your web pages perform for you and your shoppers. It’s no secret that websites also need to be responsive, as an increasing public are shopping on the move. Ensuring your site layout adapts and works well on any device is now crucial. However, you might be uncertain about what changes can be made to establish a responsive website; you can view examples from Chase Design and don’t forget to keep an eye on what your competitors are up to; how do their websites work for them?
Everybody Loves A List
Here’s the section for the list-makers and creatives. Something is satisfying about reading through an online list, once you’ve completed it, you come away feeling that bit more knowledgeable. A ‘Top 10’ is a catchy approach, that wouldn’t take your audience too much time to get through on their commute, but could be link-filled with plenty of opportunities to head over to your site. For example, if you’re in the business of selling homeware and sunny weather has been forecast for the weekend, a ‘Top 10 Items to Take on a Luxury Picnic’ would be appropriate. It would also associate good feelings about sunshine and weekends to your store. Use a balance of product and in situ imagery, keeping the list visually gratifying.
Moodboards and collages are an effective way to promote a selection of products and ideas within one image. You can hone your Photoshop skills, or get some help and guidance from websites and apps, take a look here for some options. Using a theme, such as a particular color or a specific occasion is a route often used and will always make sense visually. Moodboards work well across any social media platform, as they are a single image, but particularly lend themselves to Pinterest and Instagram. A ‘Shop The Look’ link attached to your collage, is an enticing call to action and can lead people to a designated page or area of your website. These are creative ways to promote new products or give under-performing items a boost.
Everywhere you are online, from your social media to your website should all link to one another. Social media is one of the best tools to promote your brand and more often than not, it’s completely free. What you will find is plenty of inspiration and creative tactics by simply taking a regular look at what’s happening, and be reactive to stay relevant. If you’re keen to get a grip of your social media approach, there are apps and platforms like Hootsuite that might be worth looking into, making regular updates more straightforward. Staying consistent and creative with your marketing might just become your favorite part of your business.